Dreaming of owning a 50-foot yacht or driving down your neighborhood streets in a sleek new sports car? Everyone has their big dreams, but what if you don’t have the money to make them happen?
It’s not easy being broke. As of 2014, there were almost 47 million Americans living below the poverty line. That’s about 15 percent of the population, according to website Wisebread.com.
To simply tell these people to “start thinking like a billionaire” may seem unrealistic, or cruel. But it can be great advice. Millionaires and billionaires, especially those who are self-made, tend to think completely different. In the end, it comes down to a different view of the world. Are you ready to embrace this way of thinking?
Here are some suggestions from Wisebread.com.
Don’t Dwell on the Money You Don’t Have
Wisebread illustrates this point by suggesting a test Dr. Tina Seelig gave her Stanford University students.
“She challenged them to make as much money as possible in two hours using only $5 of “seed funding” tucked in an envelope. Working in teams, they could spend as many hours as they wanted planning, but once they tore open the envelope, the clock started ticking. The most successful results came from the teams that realized a very important part of the test — namely, that the $5 was a red herring.
“Concentrating on the small sum of money put them in a box, so they ignored it, and instead looked at ways to make money from scratch. Some of the ideas were incredible. One team made $650 by selling their time; they sold their three-minute presentation slot to a firm looking to recruit students in the class. Brilliant. Now that’s how a billionaire thinks — looking at the opportunity, not the handicap,” the website describes.
Moral of the story: The money you do not have presently should not hold you back. If you don’t have funds, find a way to use what you do have to make yourself some money. Ask yourself what can you sell? A service? Product? The lack of money in your account should not place a limit on your ideas.
Don’t say “I can’t afford it, instead ask “How can I afford it?”
You may have been told as a child growing up that your parents couldn’t afford a new train set or go-cart like your neighbor. Wisebread says: “That’s how poor and middle-class people often think. They look at their current financial situation and make a quick calculation. But that’s the wrong approach.”
So, if you need something or your son wants something that isn’t some crazy whim, don’t say, “No, we can’t afford it.” Instead, counter with a question like “… how we can afford that?”
Maybe it’s a new microwave or replacing the old SUV. If you immediately close off the possibility, you’ll never get it. A billionaire doesn’t place these limits on ideas or dreams. They investigate funding sources, ways to create capital, and many other money-generating avenues. If you’re thinking you can just slap it on your credit card, don’t.
For necessities — or important dreams — it doesn’t matter if the items in question are $200 or $200,000,000. The process is the same. How can you afford that? What can you do to make it happen? Start using your brain and re-think.
Look at Change as Opportunity
Many of us are afraid of a major life change, perhaps a job loss, financial obligation, or a relocating to another state. These are stressful and difficult situations. However, a billionaire sees any form of change, even those most of us would consider negative, as an opportunity.
If it’s a job loss, look at it as something that has created tons of free time to seek a new venture. What can you do with that time that could create money in new and exciting ways? Remember those college students with the $5 challenge? “Some of them decided to make money waiting in line for people. They were making $20 a shot. Considering the minimum wage is currently $7.25, that’s almost three times the amount for pretty much doing nothing,” Wisebread.com says.
Being afraid of change is natural. However, fear is a negative response to any situation, and in the long run, it will crush your thinking and ability to bounce back. Whatever the situation, take control and think positively. How can you turn it to your advantage? What do you have now that you did not have prior this major event occurred? Then, dive right in.
A Penny Saved …
Billionaires do not toss away money. People have this idea, which comes from a few who hog the limelight, that the rich are super wasteful. But they did not become rich by tossing money aside.
Ask yourself what are you paying for, right now, that could be reduced in cost? What ways are there to save money on everyday items? From cutting coupons to bartering, you have many options available to you.
Time Truly is Money
For the most part, billionaires don’t waste time because every moment they are awake is considered an opportunity to make money or create something.
Look at the ways you spend your time and see how it can be maximized to work for you. If you’re on the commuter train going to work, are you staring out of the window, or reading a book that could teach you a new skill? Do you have hobbies that are productive?
Sure, billionaires and even millionaires often live extravagant lifestyles, but don’t let that halt you from thinking like they do. You never know, it could make you richer in the process.